Oral hygiene tips

oral hygiene tips
  • Brush your teeth with a sodium lauryl sulfate free toothpaste and floss regularly or as recommended by your care team (Ref. 13)
  • Rinse your mouth with a mix of water, baking soda and salt (Ref. 13)
  • Moisturize your lips (Ref. 13)
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and replace it on a regular basis (Ref. 13)
  • Report oral pain to your doctor or nurse (Ref. 13)
  • Be sure to attend all dental appointments arranged before, during and after your cancer treatment (Ref. 13)

Regardless of whether you have already developed oral mucositis or not, a good oral hygiene is important, as it will help to decrease the severity of oral mucositis symptoms and, most importantly, prevent the development of infection due to open sores and ulcers. Above you can find general tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene during your cancer treatment. You should always consult your doctor or nurse first as they will be able to assess your oral status and recommend hygiene routines that suit you best.

Controlling oral mucositis pain

Pain caused by oral mucositis can be very distressing and have a significant physical and emotional impact. You lose your taste for food, your voice and your sense of social and emotional well-being. However, there are steps you can take to help relieve the pain. Remember to always consult your doctor or nurse first as they will be able to examine your mouth and identify the best treatment option.

  • In mild cases, ice chips or ice water will relieve pain by numbing the affected area in the mouth, but most cases will require more intervention (Ref. 13).
  • Swishing and gargling the anesthetic gel can help you eat if you have pain in your mouth, although it may cause temporary numbness (Ref. 13).
  • A gentle mouthwash may help to ease the pain and discomfort of mouth ulcers (Ref. 13).
  • Pastes with a topical anesthetic may be helpful, however, consult your doctor before using them as they may have side effects (Ref. 13).
  • Topical products, for example episil® oral liquid that adhere to the inside lining of your mouth and coat the affected areas, thereby providing pain relief (Ref. 13).